Asphalt Roofing Shingle Comparison Guide

The Layman’s Guide To Choosing An Asphalt Shingle

Compare-asphalt-roofing-shinglesIf you are a consumer looking for the best asphalt shingle, then you have come to the right place. This article is intended to break down the features of asphalt laminated shingles produced by the major brands in the United States. There are so many styles of shingles to choose from and everybody seems to be promising the world. We are going to lay all of them out on the table, show you what they have to offer, and then you can decide what is best for your roofing project. We will cover the three basic shingle styles from each manufacturer which include 3 tab, architectural laminates and key-cut or tri-laminate roofing shingles.

The Key Factors For Every Shingle

The typical factors that are important to a homeowner when choosing a roofing shingle are:  price points, true life expectancy, wind ratings (rated in mph), and color selection. These are all extremely important issues, but I would consider them surface issues. There are additional areas of a roofing shingle that play into its performance, longevity and price. Some of those factors are: how the shingle is made, is it an AR (algae resistant) rated shingle, the weight of the material, how wide is the nailing strip, pitch of the roof the product is installed on, what type of warranty does the shingle carry and what type of wind rating does it carry. When you purchase a new roof you want a shingle that is going to be aesthetically appealing on your home but will also perform well in the type of weather your particular city or region experiences.

Shingle-Comparison-Chart

GAF Roofing Shingles

GAF-RoofingGAF roofing shingles have long been the best selling and performing roofing material in the industry. A few of their awards include the Women’s Choice and Contractor’s Choice awards.   What distinguished GAF is the advanced mat technology, released in 2011, which was accompanied by their new 50 year limited lifetime warranties. They ‘broke the sound barrier,” so to speak, with their new shingle mat, and the rest of the industry was forced to follow. GAF remains to be the only roofing manufacturer that has made any changes to their shingle justifying the stature of the warranty they offer.

GAF Shingle Line Up

 

GAF-3-Tab-Royal-Sovereign

Royal Sovereign 3 Tab Shingles                   
25 year limited warranty; 3 years non-prorated
60 mph limited wind warranty
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
225 lbs. per square
True roof life: 8-15 years w/ maintenance

 

Architectural laminate roofing shinglesTimberline HD Architectural Laminate Shingles
50 year limited lifetime warranty; 10 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating; 130 mph w/ 6 nails
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
210 lbs. per square
True roof life: 17-25 years w/ maintenance

 

Tri-laminate roofing shingles

Grand Canyon Heavyweight Key-Cut Shingles
50 year limited lifetime warranty; 10 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
Class A fire rating
5 bundles per square
450 lbs. per square
True roof life: 25-35 years w/ maintenance

CertainTeed Roofing Shingles

CertainTeed Roofing Products CertainTeed is another industry leading brand name among roofing products. They are predominantly recognized for the Presidential and Presidential TL series. In fact most HOA’s (home owners associations) list the Presidential shingles as their first choice. Like GAF, they also offer great upgraded warranties and systems that protect consumers.

CertainTeed Shingle Line Up

3 Tab Roofing Shingles By GAF

CT 20 3 Tab Shingles
20 year limited lifetime warranty; 3 years non-prorated
60 mph wind rating
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
196 lbs. per square
True roof life: 8-15 years w/ maintenance

 

CertainTeed Landmark

Landmark Architectural Laminate Shingles 
50 year limited lifetime warranty; 10 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating. 130 mph w/ 6 nails
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
240 lbs. per square
True roof life: 17-25 years w/ maintenance

 

Presidential Shake

Presidential TL Tri-Laminate Shingles 
50 year limited lifetime warranty; 10 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
Class A fire rating
5 bundles per square
480 lbs. per square
True roof life: 25-40 years w/ maintenance

 

Owens Corning Roofing Shingles

OC-Roofing-ProductsOwens Corning is a quality roofing shingle and so much more. They specialize in fiberglass products which is what makes up the core of every asphalt laminated shingle. Their Surenail Technology is a big hit with contractors and helps to ensure your roof is fastened well and withstands high winds.  They are well known for their insulation as well and branded with the famous Pink Panther, which I’m sure you have seen. Owens corning was founded in 1938 and has been a Fortune 500 company since the list was first created in 1955.

Owens Corning Shingle Line Up

3 tab shingles Owens Corning Supreme 3 Tab Shingles
25 year limited lifetime; 5 years non-prorated warranty
60 mph wind rating
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
180 lbs. per square
True roof life: 8-15 years w/ maintenance

 

OC-Duration-ShinglesDuration Architectural Laminate Shingles 
50 year limited lifetime warranty; 10 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating
Class A fire rating
4 bundles per square
260 lbs. per square
True roof life: 17-25 years w/ maintenance

 

OC Woodmore Shingles Woodmoor Heavyweight Shingles
50 year limited lifetime warranty; 10 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
Class A fire rating
6 bundles per square
450 lbs. per square
True roof life: 25-40 years w/ maintenance

 

Malarkey Roofing Shingles

Malarkey Roofing ShinglesMalarkey roofing shingles have a very strong and unique niche in the Northwestern parts of the United States. Founded in 1956, Malarkey is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. What sets Malarkey apart is their SBS modified or rubberized shingles, the high algae resistant rating and the patented nailing strip. Malarkey is specified by architects from the Northwest on almost all of the educational buildings being constructed.

Malarkey Shingle Line Up

Malarkey-3-TabDura-Seal 20 3 Tab Shingles
20 year limited lifetime warranty
60 mph wind rating
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
200 lbs. per square
True roof life: 8-15 years w/ maintenance

 

Malarkey-Roofing-Shingles Legacy SBS Architectural Laminate Shingles
50 year limited lifetime warranty;  20 year Scotchgard
110 mph wind rating, 130 mph available
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
275 lbs. per square
True roof life: 17-25 years w/ maintenance

 

IKO Roofing Shingles

IKO is a has a strong global presence in the roofing industry and was founded in 1951. They manufacture a broad variety of products for both low slope and steep slope roofing products. IKO is known for having a “true square” of roofing, and are 10% larger than most roofing shingles. IKO also has the strongest non-prorated portion of their limited lifetime warranty at 15 years. IKO is a popular and economical choice in many states.

IKO-Roofing-Shingles

IKO-MarathonMarathon 3 Tab Shingles 
20 year limited lifetime warranty; 3 years non-prorated
60 mph wind rating
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
True roof life: 8-15 years w/ maintenance

 

 

IKO-Composition-ShinglesCambridge AR Shingles Architectural Laminate Shingles
50 year limited lifetime warranty/15 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
Class A fire rating
3 bundles per square
240 lbs per square
True roof life: 17-25 years w/ maintenance

IKO-Premium-ShinglesArmourshake Heavey Weight Shingles
50 year limited lifetime warranty; 15 years non-prorated
110 mph wind rating; 130 mph available
Class A fire rating
5 bundles per square
True roof life: 25-40 years w/ maintenance

39 thoughts on “Asphalt Roofing Shingle Comparison Guide

    1. Burn E.

      Limited lifetime is 25 years
      True roof life is 12 or less.
      So buying a 25 year shingle means squat?
      so, what am I paying for then?

      Reply
  1. home warranty reviews

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  2. Mark

    Exactly the information I was looking for! I like these comparisons, this info is hard to find. Most sites only want to promote their shingle and not make comparisons to others so you can make an educated selection. Thanks!!

    Reply
  3. Candice Price

    Your comparisons helped a lot. I was torn between Owens Corning and Certainteed Landmark because of the companies that gave me estimates. One was totally against Owens Corning and preferred Landmark while the other was all about Owens Corning.The lawsuit Certainteed had a few years ago concerned me but I’m now leaning more towards them. At the end of the day I want a good product that will last and has a good warranty.

    Reply
    1. Chase Construction North West, Inc

      Typically, manufacturers do not provide percentages of their material makeup due to the proprietary nature of this question. With that being said, I have a guess. My guess is that the highest proportion of SBS in a shingle may be from Malarkey or possibly BP (Canadian shingle manufacturer that has recently moved south of the border in selective locations). I have also heard that GAF (and possibly IKO) might be coming out with an SBS shingle. So my question to you is: is SBS a better option than ABS? And if so, why? How does a rubber based shingle withstand the elements better than an asphalt shingle? My concern is that we are drinking the koolaid of marketing. Traditionally, the lifespan of the shingle has been based on the quality of the fiberglass matting and filler percentage ratio to the balance of the shingle makeup.

      Reply
    1. Chase Construction NW, Inc Post author

      Nora,

      Thank you for your question. Tamko used to be nationwide, then pulled out of the West Coast a decade ago. Due to our location, we don’t have an opinion on Tamko. We’ve been in the roofing industry for 27 years and remember when it was here. It was a quality comparative shingle with a good track record, along with unique color formations unlike others.

      Best,
      Chase Construction NW, Inc.

      Reply
  4. Mary Lou

    My contractor is letting me chose between GAF timberline or IKO Dynasty. I love the GAF Camelot series for looks (and would consider the upgrade) but this will be for a new build cottage near windy Lake Huron. Thoughts?

    Reply
    1. Chase Construction NW, Inc Post author

      Mary Lou,

      Thank you for the question. We are confident in both manufacturers. We are familiar with the West Coast manufacturing plants but not those in the Lake Huron region. Every manufacturing plant is different. Regardless, each of these shingle types come with extremely high wind rating and good solid track record. On the West Coast, Camelot is quite expensive due to the fact it is manufactured on the East Coast and is shipped here. There is a Camelot 2 from the West Coast plant which is not as thick as original Camelot, but still has 50 year limited lifetime warranty, and a 110 mile an hour wind rating (4 nail). The 6 nail version has a 130 mph wind rating. You would have to research if Camelot 2 is offered in your region.

      Best,
      Chase Construction NW, Inc.

      Reply
  5. Joe W

    I’m really torn on which shingle brand to use as there is no real consensus as to which brand is best. I’m looking at Owens Corning Duration (though there are reports the fabric strip allows water to enter via the nails). Is this true?

    Also, how good are GAF Ultras and IKO Cambridge? I live in rainy, hot south Florida.

    Reply
    1. Chase Construction North West, Inc

      Yes you are correct that Duration has had numerous problems in the past. Owens Corning now claims they have worked the kinks out of it. I am still a little gun shy with the OC product.

      GAF Ultra is their heavyweight Timberline SBS, which is touted as one of the best shingles to withstand extreme weather such as hail, tornados, and hurricanes. You can’t go wrong using that particular shingle.

      I am also a certified contractor with IKO. The general perception with IKO is that they are a value-engineered economic option yet still quality. We install over a hundred IKO roofs a year and have had little to no problems with the material. As a disclaimer, we are located on the West Coast, specifically the Pacific NW, and our IKO material comes out of the Sumas plant, and they have never had a class action lawsuit come out of the plant. With any shingle decision, if you are approaching a project from a micro perspective, it would be good to investigate the actual shingle plant that the material comes out of. You’ll be looking for a positive track record with no defective material lawsuits that have been filed. Portland, Oregon is the home of Owens Corning shingle manufacturing plant, which has an extremely negative track record along with a Southern California manufactured CertainTeed plant. But the GAF chapter of California (originally Elk) has one of the best records of all manufacturing plants globally. This idea is a little neurotic, but at the same time, a roofing manufacturer decision is extremely important due to the fact that it protects everything under it.

      Reply
  6. David

    Owens Corning Duration shingles have a 130 moh wind rating with only 4 nails in the nail strip. They are the only manuf to carry this as all the others require at least six nails per shingle, and some require additional warranty coverage to be purchased for the higher coverage.
    One other thing to mention is that no manufacturer will warranty a shingle-over job a practice that is still persistent in the industry despite warnings from manufacturers and ratings companys about this.

    Reply
    1. Chase Construction North West, Inc

      That’s good information concerning the 130 mph 4 nail. We are located on the West Coast and there are very few areas that would ever see wind over 90 mph. So, the 110 to 130 is a non-factor for almost all of us in this region. Also, I was under the understanding that the only shingle manufacturer that will warranty an overlay/recover is GAF. They will warranty their material but it will disqualify from upgraded warranties, such as Golden Pledge, which in turn can only be offered by Master Elite GAF contractors. A shingle-over job does not void a manufacturer shingle warranty. For me, the quick rule of thumb on a second layer would be that you automatically cut the expected life of the shingle in half.

      Reply
  7. Dwight McKay

    I am looking at a roof replacement. One contractor uses Owens Corning the other Atlas shingles. I don’t see Atlas in your comments, but based upon research it appears to be a commonly used shingle. Do you have any thoughts on Atlas vs. Owens Corning?

    Reply
  8. Andy

    Such a great write up and break down, I am in a hard spot here trying to decide with what to replace my cedar shakes with. have had quotes using all the big names
    IKO Cambridge
    Ownes Corining
    Certainteed landmark
    Malarkey Legacy
    all with a bit different price range, IKO being the cheapest and most favorable pattern and colors.
    I want to make sure if we take the route of going with the IKO that we will not regret spending a little less in the long run and will still be getting a great product. Is one of the 4 a far more superior product than the others?
    *located in the Edmonton Alberta area

    appreciate your time,

    Reply
    1. Chase Construction North West, Inc

      Thanks for the reply!

      When it comes to superior product, we like GAF Timberline HD over all the others listed. However, for a value engineered shingle and among the ones you listed, we like IKO Cambridge.

      Here are a few things that could be very helpful to research:

      In the Seattle area, where we are located, IKO shingles come from the Sumas, Washington plant. This facility is high quality and we like the shingles they manufacture. However, their level of quality might not be the same for other plants that service other regions. If you can talk with your contractor, an IKO rep, or some other method and find out where the shingles come from, we recommend IKO from Sumas but don’t have an opinion on IKO from any other plants.

      Regardless of who you choose, make sure all the shingles have the same date and are from the same batch. Sometimes, some corners are cut by mixing dates/batches, which can result in some shingles going bad before others as well as cause warranty issues.

      Don’t pay your contractor in full until you receive the official warranty.

      If I recall correctly, IKO is the only of the ones you’ve had quotes for that is Canadian owned. So if you’re feeling patriotic, that can be an option.

      Finally, make sure your contractor is certified with the product they’re installing.

      I’m happy this article was of help to you, and I hope you find the shingle that best fits!

      Reply
  9. Mary

    Which shingle is better? Malarkey Vista or GAF Timberline HD as we were quoted close to the same price for both. We live in southern Alberta Canada with cold winter and temperatures swings

    Reply
    1. Chase Construction North West, Inc

      Our experience is that GAF Timberline HD is the best. However, it is important to note where the shingles you’ll get in Alberta Canada are manufactured. Ours come from the Shafter plant in California. That facility is great and puts out a fantastic product. If you would receive shingles from a different facility, I can’t say with certainty how it would stack up. You may want to do some research into the two different products on a regional level.

      Best of luck!

      Reply
  10. Susy

    Difference between Gaf timberline hd or gaf Grand Canyon or grand sequoia for Denver Colorado? Certied presidental TIL is our present one. Should we do it again?

    Reply
    1. Chase Construction North West, Inc

      My recommendation would be to look into the GAF Timberline Ultra. It is an SBS shingle that is hail rated. Sequoia is a nice shingle, but the Grand Canyon is a tri-laminate shingle and is on par with the Presidential TL. If you wanted to go with the ultimate option, GAF has a high-end designer shingle named Glenwood.

      Reply
  11. Theresa Knutsen

    I appreciate the comments you have made. I have a dome house requiring re-roof, with it’s obvious special requirements. I would like an architectural laminate, but there needs to be enough flexibility to work with all the hips and valleys. My contractor prefers GAF, in the past Malarkey was also recommended, Legacy or Vista. I live 80 miles north of the Washington/Oregon border. Any thoughts relative to quality between the two, based on where the manufacturing plants are? Thank You!

    Reply
    1. Chase Construction North West, Inc

      Based on the manufacturers you mentioned, Malarkey Legacy is an SBS shingle and extremely flexible. GAF Timberline Ultra HD is similar and highly flexible. We recently re-roofed a geo-dome in Gig Harbor with the standard GAF Timberline HD (a non-SBS shingle) and due to it being a lightweight, flexible shingle its performance was also extremely good.

      Reply
  12. Brad

    Looking at having IKO Armourshake installed on my home.
    Any response back would be appreciated.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Chase Construction North West, Inc

      We’ve installed Armourshake and really like it. It’s installer-friendly, has a fantastic wind-rating, is one of the thickest shingles in North America, and is very durable. I believe it lasts many years. A little insight into its history is that when IKO originally came out with it, there was an issue with stacking on pallets that caused the shingles to ripple. This problem was solved many years ago.

      Reply
      1. Brad

        Thank You for the response on Armourshake.I really like the looks and color of the chalet color.My real concern is the IKO name.Here in Mn there is a lot of negative reviews.
        I don’t know how you can determine trust-life of these shingles, but many of us do think its interesting.

        Thanks again

        Reply
  13. Mike Woodland

    I live just outside of Denver in an area that is commonly hit with big hail storms. I had a full replacement about 3 years ago and use the Duration Storm Shingle. Now, my insurance adjuster stated the roof needs a full replacement again. What composition shingle do you feel is the most hail resistant?

    Reply
  14. natalie

    I live in cold, hot, hail and tornado Oklahoma. We are looking to re roof our house and I am not sure which shingles would be recommended for our region. Also my father in law is roofing the house. Does that affect the warranty for all the shingles? Where do I start? This article is VERY helpful!

    Reply
    1. Chase Construction North West, Inc

      If your father-in-law doesn’t have the proper manufacturer certifications, it will impact warranty. Also, depending on what certifications the contractor has, the quality of warranty you can get changes.

      Regarding which shingle to use in Oklahoma, perhaps the best way is to find a contractor you really trust and then use his judgement. Shingles are not created equal across the country since one brand is spread across many different manufacturing facilities. Some facilities are better than others. We really like GAF in the Pacific Northwest in large part because the manufacturing facility is top notch. That said, all the top shingles are relatively competitive, so if you go with a popular and well established type, you are most likely good to go. Warranty is where the real meat. Get a highly certified contractor who offers a warranty with many years of labor and misapplication on top of material. GAF has the Golden Pledge for this and it is maybe the best warranty in the business.

      Reply

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